很多人都将Jim O'Rourke视为实验音乐的奇才，到今天（1999年）他才29岁，但已发行了10张大碟，与其他艺术家们的合作更是不计其数，看看下面这个“恐怖”的“黑名单”吧（先深呼吸一下）：Henry Kaiser, Illusion of Safety, John Oswald, Christoph Heemann, John Duncan, Voice Crack, Eddie Prévost, Kazuyuki Null, Louis Moholo, Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne, Hugh Davies, Keith Rowe以及David Jackman, 当然，这只是其中的一小部分。他的唱片所涉及的领域之广也算一绝：guitar improvisation, musiqueconcréte, 甚至还有与传统器乐乐队的合作。
他可能是唯一一位既为诸如Extreme和Staalplaat这样的厂牌录制唱片又帮Kronos Quartet和the RovaSaxophone Quartet作曲的音乐家，但如果你知道他是怎样的一个谦逊而雅致的家伙的话，这一切其实并不重要。Jim O'Rourke在DePaul University取得作曲系学士学位，这种背景与那些偶尔拿出来与他相比较的post-industrial团体们显然很不一样。他的表演生涯是从1987年于Chicago开始的，那时他是The Elvis Messiahs这个团体的成员之一，按照Please Join Us杂志的说法，这个团玩的是噪音式的戏剧风格的自由即兴，经常演出，并和Nicolas Collins及Jack Wright之类的怪物搞在一起。
1988年，O'Rourke从The Elvis Messiahs脱离，加入了Dan Burke的post-industrial打击团体-- Illusion of Safety，并参与了乐队数张唱片的录制，在象是Probe和Historical这样的唱片中，他的影响是很明显的。这些只是此人的一些早期经历，其实只要是比较关心西方实验音乐的朋友就不难发现，他几乎是目前在各种实验音乐媒体中上座率最高的一位。
American post-classical composer Jim ORourke has been a key component in the increasing overlap of the American and European experimental music avant-garde, working in everything from jazz and rock to ambient and electro-acoustic and building many a bridge in between. A Chicago native, his work has found equal luck with experimental jazz and noise fanatics, chill room denizens, and bedroom experimentalists, and has had the resultant effect of cross-pollinating many otherwise isolated compositional communities. Dealing most often with prepared guitar in improvisational group settings, ORourke has also released a fair bit of material as a soloist, although more often in the electro-acoustic/musique concrète vein. Hes collaborated with such contemporary improv heroes as Derek Bailey, Henry Kaiser, Eddie Prevost and Keith Rowe (of English improv group AMM), KK Null, David Jackman (Organum), and early Krautrock experimentalists Faust. ORourke is also engaged in an ongoing exploration of experimental rock as a member of Gastr del Sol, whove released albums through the Teen Beat and Table of the Elements labels.
Beginning with guitar at the age of 6, it wasnt until his collegiate career at DePaul University that ORourkes interest in the less obvious possibilities of the instrument led him through the early catalogs of the post-classical and electro-acoustic traditions. While at DePaul, ORourke completed much of the work that would constitute his first few releases. He also had the opportunity to meet up with noted improvisational guitarist Derek Bailey, whose invitation to ORourke to play at the British improv festival Company Week led to further collaborative projects with Bailey, Henry Kaiser, Eddie Prevost, and David Jackman. ORourke began working with Dan Burkes Illusion of Safety project in the early 90s, releasing three albums through Staalplaat and Tesco, before moving on to form experimental rock group Gastr Del Sol with David Grubbs. Although focusing more on collaboration after a string of solo releases in the early 90s, ORourke has shifted back to solo work of late, releasing Terminal Pharmacy through John Zorns Tzadik label and completing commissioned pieces for the Kronos Quartet and the Rova Saxophone Quartet. In 1995, ORourke was invited by German experimental electronic label Mille Plateaux (Oval, Steel, Microstoria) to conduct an extended remix of their entire back catalog. He also produced and co-wrote a good portion of innovative German outfit Fausts Table of the Elements release, Rien. Subsequent releases include 1997s acclaimed Bad Timing and its equally brilliant follow-up, 1999s Eureka.